Marrakesh / Morocco / 2007-2010
Luxury villa on the outskirts of Marrakesh
Net Area: 1050 m2
Executive Architect: Twafik Bennana (MA)
Structural Engineer: AKT (UK)
Ron Arad Architects were invited by Mr. Maurice Ohayon to design, detail and oversee the construction of a new holiday residence for his family, to be situated on the outskirts of Marrakesh, Morocco, in view of the Atlas mountain range. The site is situated approximately 8km south-west of central Marrakesh, in the rural commune of Tassoultant, north of the Via Marrakesh.This residence will comprise of the main villa for the Client and his family, a separate but inter-connected guest wing, extensive grounds which will accommodate a 25m pool and playing field (tennis or other), and staff quarters for permanent and seasonal staff. Ron Arad Architects will meet this challenge combining cutting-edge design, detail and fabrication techniques with traditional local materials and construction methodologies.
From early on in the design development process, it was decided that two guiding principles would form the key design parameters for the project. The first, involves the sun and its direct impact on architectural form, human comfort zones and daily as well as seasonal diversity of light conditions. The second stems from local planning law which stipulates a height restriction of +8.00m above ground level, and an allowance of -4.00m excavation depth into the ground.
Ron Arad Architects have used these two to define the premise for form finding: orientation of volumes on site in relation to sunlight axes, the use of a modulated ground plane (in the form of a landscaped dune) to create shade as well as privacy, the use of height to command dramatic views of the Atlas range as well as provide striking internal spaces within the residence. The residence is arranged as a series of ‘shells’, each comprising different accommodations (i.e. main residence, guest wing, etc.). The shells occupy the southern side of the site, and form an opaque façade facing south (forming a suitable thermal mass where most exposed to direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time), and open up towards the north, where the remainder of the site unfolds.